Clostridium Difficile (C-diff) Infection: The Latest Scoop on the Poop

presented by Kathleen Vollman

Accreditation Check:

Clostridium difficile (C-diff) contributes to serious infections and higher mortality in hospitalized patients. Antibiotic stewardship across the continuum of care is an essential prevention strategy. This session explores modes of transmission in order to outline a strategy for source control. Hand hygiene practices, the culture of culturing, and environmental factors are examined closely as issues that impact the diagnosis and spread of C-diff. A focus on development of evidence-based care practices/protocols and the examination of resources and systems that support source control and reduce transmission are discussed. This course content is applicable to nurses and other health care professionals who work with patients in acute care, rehabilitation, and long-term care settings.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Kathleen Vollman, MSN, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN

    Kathleen Vollman is a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Educator, and Consultant. She has published and lectured nationally and internationally on a variety of topics, including pulmonary care, critical care, prevention of health-care-acquired injuries, work culture, and sepsis recognition and management. From 1989 to 2003, she functioned in the role of Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Medical ICUs at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan. Currently her company, ADVANCING NURSING LLC, is focused on creating empowered work environments for nurses through the acquisition of greater skills and knowledge. Ms. Vollman is a subject matter expert for prevention of CAUTI, CLABSI, and HAPI as well as sepsis recognition/management and the culture of safety for HRET and the Michigan Hospital Association. In 2004, Kathleen was inducted into the College of Critical Care Medicine; in 2009, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nurses. In 2012, Ms. Vollman was appointed to serve as an honorary ambassador to the World Federation of Critical Care Nurses.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. C-diff: The Scope of the Problem and Risk Factors for Development

    1. C-diff: The Scope of the Problem and Risk Factors for Development

    C-diff transmission in hospitals occurs primarily from contaminated environments and through the hands of healthcare personnel. A 2011 CDC surveillance study found that C-diff caused almost half of a million infections and directly led to approximately 15,000 deaths in one year with an estimated cost of 4.8 billion. The impact of C-diff is discussed, along with one of the major risk factors: overuse of antimicrobial therapy.

  2. C-diff: Rapid Identification and Diagnosis

    2. C-diff: Rapid Identification and Diagnosis

    Rapid diagnosis will lead to prompt treatment and implementation of contact precautions that can limit the spread of C-diff in the environment of care. The best testing methods and culturing practices will be outlined to prevent over or under diagnosis.

  3. Antimicrobial Stewardship & Prevention of Transmission

    3. Antimicrobial Stewardship & Prevention of Transmission

    C-diff prevention efforts should focus on community- and facility-based antimicrobial stewardship and preventing disease transmission. The foundation of an antimicrobial stewardship program is outlined. Hand hygiene and environmental cleaning standards, as well as methods for stool containment, are discussed.